Womens Health

Foot Pain Basics

Top 3 Foot Pain Causes

The Mayo Clinic says that there are three causes that explain most foot pain. They are

· Overuse

· Improperly fitting footwear

· Injury

Foot pain can also sometimes be caused by medical conditions, like diabetes or arthritis, or structural defects.

Understanding the Foot

Your foot in an intricately structured component of your body and is made up of 24 bones. The bones form two crossing arches: a traverse arch (along the width) and a longitudinal arch (along the length). All these 24 bones are mostly held together by fibrous tissues known as ligaments.

Additional support for the foot is provided by 20 muscles and a sinewy, tough tissue that's called plantar fascia. There are internal foot muscles that start at the insert of the foot and external muscles that connect on the bones in the foot and begin in the lower leg.

Your foot also has fat pads to help protect them by absorbing some of the impact of daily activities.

Footwear and Foot Pain

Women often put their feet through unnecessary torture. The foot often becomes that proverbial sacrificial lamb all in the name of beauty. Shoes that look cute or fashionable are not always best for your feet.

High heels or footwear that is too tight can cause painful bunions and corns. They can cause misalignment of the toes. Poorly fitting footwear can cause bruising, blisters and calluses.

It's important to make sure you wear the right size shoe, even if it means wearing a larger size. And, yes, it's possible to have fashionable footwear that fits well too.

Plantar Fascia Damage

Overuse of the foot can cause foot pain as well. Sometimes it's unavoidable, especially if you have a job that requires you to be on your feet most or all of the day.

One extremely common type of foot pain is plantar fasciitis. A report in The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery says that approximately two million Americans suffer from this condition with as many as 10 percent of the population experiencing plantar fasciitis at one point in their lives.

This condition is when the plantar fascia becomes inflamed. The plantar fascia is the thick connective tissue that runs along the bottom surface of the foot from the heel bone towards the sole of the foot. The damage to the plantar fascia can be caused by long periods of weight-bearing or athletics, especially running.

Pain can be felt all over the foot, but more than 50 percent of sufferers experience pain in the underside of the heel. The most painful steps are the first few of the day. Some people with plantar fasciitis have difficulty bending their toes toward their shins.

Foot Injury

An injury can also cause foot pain. Typical injuries include:

· fractures

· sprains

· muscle strains

· bruises

A fracture is considered to be an injury to the bones and joints of the foot caused by a foot twist or a single blow. A sprain is when the ligaments that hold the bones in your foot and ankle together are torn due to overstretching. A strain is similar to a sprain in that it's can be caused by overuse. It can also be caused by bruising, a cut or overloading.

Other Common Causes of Foot Pain

A condition called turf toe can cause foot pain. It's often seen in athletes. Turf toe is caused by a strain of the tendon under the base of the big toe.

Toenail trauma can also cause foot pain. Blood pooling under the nail can cause a build-up of pressure that can make it very painful to touch the toe. Sometimes the pain from the toe spreads to the entire foot. Sometimes it might be necessary for a doctor to drill a hole through the nail to release the blood and relieve pressure. It's possible to temporarily or permanently lose a toenail from toenail trauma.


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